Cold wave death toll hits 129 in India

Jan. 5, 2013 at 4:29 PM

NEW DELHI, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A cold wave that sent temperatures dangerously low in northern India is being blamed for at least 129 deaths, authorities said.

Officials said the total included 13 deaths in Uttar Predesh, five in Punjab and two in Haryana in the previous 24 hours, as temperatures dropped to as low as 3 degrees Fahrenheit in Kargil a day after nearby Leh recorded 3.2 degrees, the Indian TV channel Sahara Samay reported Saturday.

Other lows included 37 degrees in the capital Delhi and 24 degrees in Srinagar.

Forecasters said the below-normal temperatures were not expected to moderate before Monday.

Sahara Samay said the cold wave was extremely hard on the hundreds of thousands of homeless people in the region.

Thick fog was affecting transportation in the region, with passengers stranded in railway stations - -although Indira Gandhi Airport was largely unaffected, with only a handful of flights delayed or canceled.

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